Emergency declared for severe Jemez River flooding

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SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. — The Sandoval County commission issued an emergency declaration Wednesday due to severe flooding in the Jemez Corridor.

“Due to floodwaters rising from the snow melt, it’s causing flooding throughout the Jemez Springs area,” said Sandoval County Fire Chief Eric Masterson.

Water was seen spilling onto Highway 4 in the San Ysidro area by KOB 4 crews. A person told us they are a friend of the people who live there, and they’re worried the house may flood.

“I think it’s just really scary to think that you can lose everything that you and your family work for,” they said.

In declaring an emergency, Sandoval County officials are asking the state for help. They said there are flooded roads throughout the area, including in the village of Jemez Springs and Jemez Pueblo.

Officials say melting snow is to blame, and the Jemez River is overflowing in some areas.

Officials warned people to stay alert and avoid the area. The U.S. Forest Service said the flooding reached a wastewater treatment plant, causing overflow into the Jemez River.

The Forest Service is going to set up signs discouraging fishing and drinking at all points south of the plant. All Forest Service roads south of the Jemez Springs village will be closed until further notice.

There are no evacuation orders as of Wednesday night, but officials say if water levels keep rising, homes would be in danger.

Emergency officials say lots of people have been traveling to the area to see the flooding, including some with kayaks. They’re asking people not to do that.